Numerous NFL journalists, including the ubiquitous Adam Schefter of ESPN, are reporting Geno Smith will indeed attend Friday night’s second round of the draft at Radio City Music Hall in New York.

After falling out of the opening round Thursday night, Smith exited the venue by telling ESPN’s Suzy Kolber he would not be back the next night, a move that was widely panned.

At a time when quarterback Geno Smith has faced harsh criticism regarding his ability to handle adversity, Smith isn’t handling adversity well. Specifically, the game that is the NFL draft isn’t going the way he expected, so Smith plans to take his bat and ball and go home. — Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk

There are some reports that Smith’s initial decision to leave New York was based more on logistics — flight changes and hotel reservations — than sour grapes, though that could be spin control by his agent. Whatever the reason, Smith can only bolster his image by attending tonight and manning up to the disappointment of the previous 24 hours.

His dramatic tumble out of the first round, after some mock drafts had him targeted at No. 6 overall by Cleveland, may seem like Nolan Nawrocki’s revenge right now, but Smith should still earn somewhere around $5 million over his first three years in the league. Then it’s up to him to show his skills, win games and maximize a more lucrative second contract.

Second-round quarterbacks are hardly scrap-heap talents: witness Drew Brees, Colin Kaepernick and Andy Dalton. Of course, last season’s breakout star Russell Wilson was a third-rounder.

Not that mock drafts are to be trusted — Thursday night was the latest episode in how such guesswork can go awry — but ESPN/Scout Inc. projects Smith as the first player chosen in the second round by Jacksonville (No. 33 overall). Mel Kiper forecasts Smith going to Philadelphia at No. 35 and joining offensive mastermind Chip Kelly.

By the way, Smith reportedly will be the only first-night player lingering in the green room for a second evening, so why not laugh off that which he cannot control by holding up a cardboard sign “Will pass for food.”

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  • Brett Thompson

    Whoever gets him will be very lucky hands down this kid can flat out play and his work ethics are 2nd to none! Great guy on and off the field and he will be missed at WVU

  • mark

    This is another "Mark". Geno will be fine. He has always overcome adversity and will eventually shine at the next level. I am truly confused over the EJ Manuel selection. His lifetime college stats are 47 td's and 28 interceptions (in the ACC). Geno's numbers for ONE year in the BIG 12 are 42 and 6. Just don't understand.

    • mntneerjay

      Here's to hoping Geno becomes a Jet and makes Buffalo regret that decision twice each year for the next decade.

  • Mark

    I believe we as in (WVU football) hurt his draft status during this past season with quality of our play on defense. If he would not have had to play every single play with a sense of urgency due to playing from behind. This and trying to get enough cushion to be comfortable, he could have been more meticulous and the offense would not have had to try and carry the whole team on their backs!

  • nik

    They are running it in the ground... He is NOT the only one that was suppose to go in the 1st round that didn't go.. No matter if he goes home or stays, that don't change the player he is.. A QB makes plays, NOT miracles.. Give him a good team, He will prove himself!!

  • Hoffy

    All drafts, whether they are NFL, NBA, MLB, etc., are just another opportunity for the leagues, in conjunction with ESPN, to promote their brand and profit from it. It's another circus, and at the end of the day, the corporate execs are laughing all the way to the bank.
    P.T. Barnum would be proud to see this continuation of "a sucker being born every minute".

  • al

    ESPN will always find fault with anything "West Virginia". If I were Geno, I'd do exactly what I want to do. DWM is exactly right. He will be given a chance to play somewhere. He will rise and fall by what he does on the field, not what ESPN says.

  • leroy jethro gibbs

    in a fair world geno should stay but all they want him there for is to create reality tv drama and improve their ratings. its so obvious a blind guy could see it

  • Habib Haddad

    Ahhhhh, the social media age in which we are privileged to live today. Much ado about nothing.

  • rob

    Bill Polian, former Colt's exec. said it was "absoluely the stupidest thing I've heard in all my years in football." (speaking about whether it matters whether Geno left of stayed in NY.) I agree.

  • bva24

    Wow. It's amazing how scrutinized NFL QB's really are. The RB from Alabama was there last night and didn't get drafted. Apparently, he is going home and not staying in NY.

    Geno ponders doing the same thing, and all of a sudden he has character issues and doesn't have what it takes to lead. What?

    TV commentators - sports and political - are the worst. They talk just to hear themselves talk and are not nearly as smart as they think they are.

    • tw eagle

      oh , you're right about the media , I think of them as jackals . . .just waiting to pounce on any mistake ( verbal or physical ) to build a headline to push their own agenda . . .smith was the joke of this years draft . . .his 'holier than thou ' , ' know it all ' attitude turned off all the teams that looked hard at him . . .smith will be given an opportunity to see how he works and plays with others in the pros . . .I give him and his immense ego little chance of succeeding long term . . .

      • bva24

        Why all the hate? Seems personal to you...

  • DWM

    Go home or stay in NYC, none of it matters. The facts are 1) some team is going to draft Geno and give him a chance to be their qb, 2) Whether he stays or goes, it wwill have no impact on his performance once he gets on the field.

    From ESPN's perspective, the draft is not about sports, it is an annual reality tv show where they get to hype their brand and sell a lot of advertising.

    Geno will be fine once he finds the field, some team is going to get very lucky. My guess is Geno will have a good rookie year, do very well his next two years, and bend some franchise over the table his next contract to the tune of 12-15 mil a year for six years and end up a very wealthy man if he handles the money well. Good for him.

    • tw eagle

      once smith finds the field . . . ? even after falling out of the top draft round , his ego is still to big to be able to pull his head from his rectum . . . smith's 'I know it all ' attitude will kill any chance of bonding and learning at the pro level . . .


    It's how a person responds in times of evident adversity that shows their true character and good ole fashioned backbone. I am in the group that thinks him staying at the draft will show more good things about Geno, the person, and future NFL QB, than the person who leaves, for whatever reason, and opens up the possibility for others, NFL Analyst and Sportswriters to throw even more darts at him or create reasons to doubt him. Good job Geno for staying and know that you have the millions of Mountaineer Nation, who have your back and appreciate all you've done for our Mountaineers !!! if you are not selected by the team we call our personal favorite...I'm certain, as with those Mountaineer players before'll still hear our cheers and applause as you throw your next TD pass!!!

    Good luck tonight and with the smart & lucky team who is able to have you on their roster !!!!

  • Shawn

    I agree with Cutty77...he should've just went home! ESPN is the worst and they are directly responsible for the breakup of the Big East. They are at fault for VT, BC and Miami leaving and it spiraled from there. ESPN is a joke.

    • Harpers Ferry

      So, let me get this straight. It's ESPN's fault that Geno wasn't drafted in the first round? It's ESPN's fault that Geno CHOSE to go to NYC for the draft?

      First, Geno has a CHOICE of whether he wants to be there or not. Research an Offensive Lineman named Joe Thomas who was drafted #3 overall in the draft a few years ago. Did he CHOOSE to be in NYC? No, he CHOSE to go fishing during the draft, KNOWING he would be a top 5 pick.

      The reason Geno didn't get drafted in the 1st Round has NOTHING to do with ESPN. The pro scouts and front office personnel know INFINITELY more about football than you or I do. So do them a favor and let them do their job. Let GENO decide whether he WANTS to prove them all wrong or whether he lets his draft position define him.

      • cutty77

        People don't understand How Important WVU was to ESPN over the years.Some of there Highest Rated Games involved WVU.WVU and VT put ESPN Thur. night Football on The Map.Now The NFL is on Thur.night. WVU held the Big East Together even after BC,VT,and Miami left.ESPN got upset when we left for The Big 12.Because The Big 12 is ESPN and Fox.

    • Allan Taylor

      I mostly hate ESPN for "Playmakers."

  • cutty77

    I think Geno should Go Home. His agent needs to take over at some point.Get him out of the Media Meat Market. His phone will work in Fla. ESPN will continue to attack Him.Remember people ESPN is who Killed the Big East.They love to build up WVU tear them Down. One last thing I'm still upset at Oliver for taking the Pinestripe BS Bowl, because ESPN needed WVU SCREW ESPN

    • Mac

      Kind of funny now that THERE is home. Good thing he stuck around as he's going to be spending at least a few years in NY.

    • derek

      You are exactly right cutty77. Geno needs to get out of there and now. He will get his shot and then everyone will see. Jon Gruden is a two faced punk. Foxsports is the only outlet I would deal with.

  • Hop'sHip

    Do second rounders still get a hug from the Commish?